“I’m ready to wait for the next opportunity”

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In an interview to The Indian Express, Parthiv Patel speaks about wicketkeeping, batting and also the drawback of his boyish looks.

Exactly a month back, Parthiv Patel was in Colombo preparing to play his first Test match in four years. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni all set to return to Test cricket, the diminutive wicketkeeper seems to be resigned to the fact that it will be the beginning of another long wait. In an interview to The Indian Express, Patel speaks about wicketkeeping, batting and also the drawback of his boyish looks. Excerpts:


How did you feel after making a comeback into the Indian team?


"I was playing well for the last two seasons, and thankfully, I got the chance when I was in the right frame of mind. The four years away had helped me a lot. I kept on different wickets and gained a lot of experience. I am much stronger mentally and can handle pressure well now. It would have been better if I had scored more runs in Sri Lanka.


With Dhoni around, do you think you will be able to retain your place in the Test side?


"I'm ready to wait for the next opportunity, but only God knows when the call will come. I have to keep myself ready whenever it does. I have never worried about what others are doing. It's better to concentrate on your game. There's no point in wasting your energy pondering over what is not in your control.


But you got a place in the IPL Chennai Super Kings team, where Dhoni led the side as well.


"Yes, and if you see I scored runs too. I was the most consistent batsman in the IPL. I had spoken to Dhoni before the IPL and I knew I was going to be a part of the playing XI. Dhoni raising the bar has helped me too. Once you know where you need to reach, you tend to work harder, else you are not going to get a chance.


Four years is a long time. Wasn't it tough and frustrating waiting on the sidelines?


"It was really tough. The first year was the toughest, but I knew I had age on my side. Also I had a lot of self-belief, so I kept working towards it.


What was the first thing you did when you were dropped?


"Introspection. I found out that, apart from wicket-keeping, I need to improve my batting too. I started playing more with a straight bat, cutting out the fancy shots. The competition also increased and now there are so many players wanting to play for India. It is always good as you push yourself further to improve the game.

Don't you think that, despite being 23, you are still considered as a 16-year-old by many?


"(Laughs) I know, but I can't help it. This is what people think and I can't change that. Earlier, people used to ask me: "How old are you?" Things have changed now. Remember, I'm a married man now.